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Natural bathymetric change as a control on century-scale shoreline behavior

Cooper, Andrew and Navas, F (2004) Natural bathymetric change as a control on century-scale shoreline behavior. GEOLOGY, 32 (6). pp. 513-516. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1130/g20377.1


Identification of the relevant forcing factors behind coastal change is a major societal demand in the face of rising sea level. Changes in the patterns of coastal erosion and accretion at a century scale in Dundrum Bay, Northern Ireland, are here attributed to natural changes in the nearshore bathymetry of sufficient magnitude to alter incident wave-energy dispersal. Simulations of wave propagation across the nearshore reveal a marked change in the nearshore patterns of energy dispersal and related sediment-transport pathways between 1861 and 1968. The 1861 bathymetry is associated with a simulated longshore drift divide in the middle of the bay and with sediment dispersal to the southeast and northeast, whereas the 1968 bathymetry is associated with a consistent northeastward drift throughout the bay. These changes are consistent with recorded shoreline changes: sediment accumulation and foredune accretion in the northeast and northeastward spit elongation across a tidal inlet. This study reveals a case in which purely natural changes in the seafloor at a century scale can be related to long-term shoreline changes. Similar changes during relative sea-level rise during the Holocene were potentially capable of significant modification of shoreline morphology and dynamics. Near-shore extraction of sand for beach nourishment purposes may have consequences of similar magnitude for adjacent beaches.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute
Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Coastal Systems
ID Code:1399
Deposited By: Professor Andrew Cooper
Deposited On:26 Nov 2009 12:20
Last Modified:15 Jun 2011 10:17

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